Foreign commissioning editors get a lot of pitches like this: “The Chinese are now watching Homeland / eating caviar / behaving like us.” These activities usually owe to the fact that a few ultra-wealthy Chinese have found some new, pointlessly expensive Western habit — like high-end gold hi-fi aficionado clubs, or bottles of purified Moon water... Read more »
By TAR Nation and RFH
Ed's note: TAR and RFH have diametrically opposed opinions about Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom, starring Jeff Daniels as a news anchor who, in one lapse of honesty, sees his world turned upside-down. Characters sing "arias of facts," as the New Yorker's review put it, which sounds a lot like what news organizations closer to home -- in China -- do. So, TAR and RFH set aside their disagreements about The Newsroom to write a pitch for a show called Chinese Newsroom. TV producers out there: pick this up!
By RFH Idea for an honest advert: Scene: A log cabin in remote woods. Five teens of mixed ethnicity/affability convene in a spooky basement to investigate a noise. Suddenly, the cast-iron stove in the back noisily cranks into action, pipes groaning. The teens gather round as, inside the stove, coals glow red-hot and wisps of smoke emerge.... Read more »
Two exhibitions opened in Beijing this weekend, both small yet worthier of a visit than many of the major ones held at, for example, the National Museum of China (unless you have a pressing interest in Louis Vuitton luggage).
Saturday saw the launch of “Art, Design, Culture: The History of Penguin by Design,” first exhibited at London’s V&A. It recounts the history of the paperback (or Penguin’s at least), which was conceived by Allen Lane in the 1930s as a way to popularize books and learning.
By RFH You’ve probably wondered how the Chinese public bathroom experience could be made any less savory. We’ve seen a few methods: stinging nettles around an earthen hole; a local pensioner eyeballing the foreigner’s bowel movement. Routine stuff. But how about an unwelcome penis being jabbed in your eye? Head out to the Chanping public... Read more »
By RFH Sad tidings this week, via Chris “Devonshire” Devonshire-Ellis. CDE – not to be confused with CBE (Commander of the British Empire, a British honour bound to come his way soon, one way or another) – has announced that he is leaving China in a rambling post on his otherwise unheard-of blog, China Briefing. Mostly,... Read more »
By RFH Recently a doctor on Weibo recalled the story of a patient – a kabob (chuanr, in Beijing patois) seller – who came in with stab wounds in the 1980s after getting into a ruckus with a customer. Upon surgery, his problems were found to be far worse than previously assumed. His stomach was riddled... Read more »
By RFH If you’re planning a holiday to Guangxi this summer – home to to what’s considered China’s most picturesque landscape – here’s a heads-up before you go swimming. There are man-eating piranhas in the river! According to the local fishery’s department, the carnivorous South American fish is commonly found in the rivers of the... Read more »
What happens when you’re a socialist Chinese blowhard and you get your ass handed to you by a girl after challenging her to fisticuffs in a Beijing park?
You tell everyone you won, of course.
In one of those weird "This is China" moments, while the rest of Beijing came to a grinding halt over some light rain at 1 pm on Friday, a whole bunch of Web users and bloggers – all of whom were carrying at least four or five umbrellas apiece – convened at the south gate of Chaoyang Park for a Grumble in Das Jungle.
By RFH Reuters’s anonymous sources (reliable, surely) may tell us that the upcoming 18th Party Congress – aka Xi Jingping’s coronation – will be delayed, but our reading of the tea leaves yields a different conclusion. If you can’t afford to visit North Korea this summer (where a long weekend with a tour group can cost a couple-thousand... Read more »
By RFH There’s a new Paul the Octupus in town. In China. And he’s a llama – no, not that kind. For some reason, and despite having fuck-all to do with Euro 2012, Tianjin Zoo is attempting to lure thrill-seekers to its no-doubt already white-knuckle zoological experience with a llama that can predict the actual... Read more »
We’ll have to wait until July before the results of the gaokao – national university entrance exams – are announced. When they are, state media’s response will be as predictable and reflexive as British media et alia sticking an attractive blonde celebrating her A-levels on the front page (and pages 2,3,5,8 and 9). The top scorers... Read more »
Louis CK played a show in Beijing last night; he spoke for just over an hour. Here’s what we can’t talk about – the organizers. Even though they were in season and up on stage last night, handing out the shout-outs like skittles, after midnight, they became as shy as hedgehogs and asked us not to even mention their names.
So, thanks [redacted], [redacted] and [redacted] and special thanks to Louis’s official Chinese sponsors, a new, Beijing-based, live, streaming porno site offering all users free credits per orgasm that can then be exchanged for Jack Daniel’s, Cheerios and Ray Bans; their site is found at [redacted].
By RFH The 100 Days campaign has been providing many freelancers the opportunity to convince editors back home that there’s some kind of slash ’n’ burn bender going on. A lot of these articles have been boilerplate mush, oozing from the chin of the great China news aggregator, but one particular piece about alleged racism at a newspaper, posted on... Read more »
By RFH When the Chinese don’t have the time or money to visit a foreign country, they bring the foreign country to China. And they do it their way: at the Beijing World Park, for example, you can see Niagara Falls as it should have been (roaring into the Grand Canyon), learn that Southwark is... Read more »
By RFH Confounding even the most grounded of numerologists, the movements on today’s Shanghai Stock Exchange have caused a minor stir. The index opened at: Open: 2,346.98 Day Range: 2,308.23 – 2,348.20 Year To Date: +4.96% Previous Close: 2,373.44 52-Week Range: 2,132.63 – 2,826.96 1-Year: -15.38% That’s 2,346.98 as in 23 years since 4/6, which... Read more »
By RFH Will the UK media be waiting at the airport to greet the British “attempted rapist” (or molester, drunk lecher or whatever you believe) – or will he slip away into obscurity? That’s what we’re left wondering as the book closes on one of the ugliest chapters in foreigner-China relations in recent months, which... Read more »
The Briton currently in police custody over allegations of sexual assault may be in plenty trouble – the Beijing Morning Post says he faces a “trial” in China, and his sorry story has even been reported by Reuters, in the New York Daily News and Kotaku – but so too may be the chaps who assailed him... Read more »
An update of the story earlier today of the man accused of sexually assaulting a Chinese girl in Beijing: There’s scant information that’s verifiable. For example, a photograph has been offered up on Weibo (above) that purports to show the same man – or at least a man wearing the same trousers and shoes –... Read more »
By RFH WTF moments are frequent in China; they can happen just reading a newspaper. Today’s chin-scratcher occurred on page five of the Global Times, where, sandwiched between an only mildly splenetic front-page story about Chen Guangcheng (Chen will not have “any problems as long as he obeys the law and expresses his demands lawfully,”... Read more »